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virgin islands on line : st. john : hotel & villa reviews

Casa Phillips 03/26/2004
Reviewers Rating: Stars Excellent
I rate this 4 stars, but with a caveat. I'll explain why. We booked Casa Phillips very last-minute, about a week before we visited STJ. The house is brand-new, so had some availability. The house is reached by turning right just before Chateau Bordeaux, then following the road straight for a quarter mile or so. It sits all by itself overlooking the valley, Coral Bay, and the BVIs beyond. The sunrises were spectacular, and the night we left, a full moon was hanging fat over Coral Bay.

I'd never wanted to rent on Bordeaux Mountain because it is a very damp place. Mold grows easily there. Since the house was brand-new, I figured it would be okay, and it was. But every time I went into one of the bedrooms we weren't using, I was astounded at how quickly the dampness was settling in. I don't know that I'd rent it in a year or two--thus the uncertainty about the 4 stars.

The house is made up of 2 pods. A great room to the left, a plunge pool and hot tub in the middle, and a staircase to the right that leads down to the other pod. The top floor of the other pod (which is not at the same level as the pool or Great Room) contains the very beautiful master bedroom suite with indoor/outdoor showers, two nicely-appointed rooms below that, and then, a short walk across a deck, another bedroom below the Great Room.

The house is *beautifully* decorated and very comfortable. There is a fax machine/answering machine. Plenty of windows that open to let in the breeze. Every room has air-conditioning, too. There is a long deck with table and chairs and glider loveseat. The kitchen is outfitted with new stainless steel appliances and plenty of beautiful dishes, platters, bowls, napkins, placemats, etc. We like to host a dinner party when we're on STJ; this house made it easy.

The house is very very private, yet convenient to the beaches, Cruz Bay, and Coral Bay. It took exactly 15 minutes to get to Cruz Bay, and 10 to get to Francis Beach.

For a brand-new 4-bedroom house, I was surprised that there was only one obviously "master" suite. The other rooms are lovely, but they are definitely just bedrooms with baths. And because each bedroom is reached only via its own outside entrance, it can be spooky going to your room alone at night--so it's not really a good place to rent with children. I confess that I would not want to sleep in the house alone. Not that I don't feel safe on STJ--I just don't like feeling so isolated. I am not a fan of pods. I suppose they are great if you're traveling with other couples, but if you're with your own family, I think it's nicer to be under one roof.

The beds are very comfortable. Great linens, thick towels, super beach chairs that fold up into carry-bags....

The house is just as beautiful as the pictures on the website make it look.

Maryanne





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